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The colonial state of affairs and the non-Jewish state

It is as a Jew who grew up feeling the history of this people with all my capacities and even attending to the struggles around Zionism that I look at what is happening now and that I think that those who speak for the Jews and those who speak for Zionism did not understand anything. That is, they do not read the same history of the Jews; they do not read a story of survival in adversity that gives rise to unsuspected strengths and unsuspected forces to resist - as I do - but the non-history of a people waiting for their turn to act as they witness their executioners doing. The Jews that bomb Gaza and defend their supremacy in the occupied territories and in the cities where Palestinians reside make their history a variant of the stories of the European nations that colonized the world because they had the weapons and certainties to do so. The speech resembles that of the superiority of purity and the purity of superiority that the Germans pronouced in the third reich about Jews, Slavs and Gypsies and almost all colonizing nations in western Europe for many centuries about Africans, Asians, Amerindians, Arabs (and Jews). The Jewish experience in the Diaspora was replaced by a shotgun and miles of barbed wire. It was replaced by a privileged position of subordination, Houria Bouteldja expresses this in a direct way speaking to a Jew today (who is a Zionist today): “In fact, it’s true, you were really chosen by the West. For three cardinal missions: to solve the white world’s moral legitimacy crisis, which resulted from the Nazi genocide, to outsource republican racism, and finally to be the weaponized wing of Western imperialism in the Arab world. Can I allow myself to think that in your heart, it is the part that loves the white world that pushed you to sign this deal with the devil? This is how, in the span of fifty years, you went from being pariahs, to being, on the one hand, dhimmis of the Republic to satisfy the internal needs of the nation state, and on the other, Senegalese rifle-men to satisfy the needs of Western imperialism.” (in Whites, Jews and Us, p. 55-6). Dhimmis are those who, in exchange for financial favors, received hospitality and protection in the Islamic land. Europe found a function for its jews: send them on the (post-) colonial endeavor to transform the whole world into more or less ethnic national states which are, for the most part, subordinate as bantustans of greater or lesser intensity. What remains Jewish, in the Jewish state, is little more than ancient monuments and synagogues. It is a state, before being Jewish. remained. As the Jewish human rights activist in Palestine Ronnie Barkan says, the state of Israel is Jewish, not by religion - but by supremacy. Just as South Africa, he adds, before Mandela was white in supremacy.

In other words, I look with my reading of the history of the Jews and I see something like this: the Palestinians are the new Jews. Maybe that's why I feel closer to them - but I don't understand their songs, I don't understand their rites. We were, the Jews of the whole world, forced to feel exiled from their own history. To become colonial agents - and colonial agents, French in Niger, Belgians in Congo or Spaniards in Peru, do not have a history, they only have an obligation to defend their history (whatever it may be). It has been said many times, including by Israelis like Amos Oz, that what separates the victim from his executioner is the occasion. In fact, Zionism was a dangerous challenge: give me a chance to own a land, the Jews could have told European border guards in the first half of the 20th century, and we will show how we can do it differently. It was perhaps a challenge whose victory was impossible in its own formulation. In fact, victory did not come. Although in the counterfactual corner that are crucial for history not to be told only by the winners, we can think that it could have succeeded, it did not succeed. And as it did not succeed, it left the bitter taste that complacency with colonization is a product of the occasion.

The Jewish residents of Palestine, the Zionists all over the world, and the non-Jewish defenders of the State of Israel of all kinds repeat that they want either a big country without Arabs or a small country without Arabs. That is, either the others to the sea or the others to a bantustan. And this discussion - which looks like the non-Jewish Europeans who chose for Jews either expulsion or the gheto - is how far the new Jewish problem in Israel reaches: the Palestinian problem. Zionism has simply turned out to be a farce: a repetition of the nationalist and racist embroglio that plagued Europeans until they had the world at their feet - and could outsource control of a tailor-made international sceme to the elites of the world, including the Israelis. It is now a world built for their supremacy which is run without their direct control. The worst of colonization is not to produce colonized folks, but to produce petty colonizers waiting for their chance to repeat the actions of colonization recursively. After the failure of the Zionist challenge - one of those failures that teaches that one cannot dance with the colonizer without sleeping with him – a pedagogical lesson remains: resistance teaches a lot but its lessons are all conditional. Even though they learned so much in the Diaspora, the Jews who became colonizers became ... colonizers.

There is a colonial impasse between a population increasingly convinced that its purity does not allow others to circulate in its streets and a population of natives who must therefore choose between enforced segregation and subordination. Zionism is the latest European attempt to solve its Jewish problem - and the solution is to outsource it not to the resident peoples of Palestine, but to the Jews themselves. The solution, once again, did not eliminate the residues of the problem - as conversion did not exorcise the insistent Marrano and segregation ended in catastrophe. It is the problem that is the problem: there is no problem, the Jews are simply others. Zionism, and the Jewish pseudo-problem of which it is irremediably tributary, is a figure of the tyranny of the same. From shtetl to Gaza.

On top of all that, I see the marches for Jewish supremacy in Jerusalem. And the bombings of Gaza, less and less surgical, more and more like massacres. Nothing can justify the bombing of a city that is permanently under siege. Nothing can justify ethnic cleansing in Sheik Jarrah. Nothing can justify the final Nazi solution. But I see a passerby from the new city of Jerusalem, which is so Jewish that it looks like an American enclave, saying that God sent two punishment: the Nazis and the Palestinians. I cannot stop myself from thinking that European anti-Semitism has also given rise to Zionist anti-Semitism. If God punishes, God also offers challenges. Anti-Semitic is one who thinks that all Jews argue that Palestinians are punishments. Zionist anti-Semitism acts, like any other anti-Semitisms, by placing new meanings on the word “Jew”. This time the Jew becomes, not the filthy or the murderer of Christ, but the one who is complicit in Western colonial supremacy in Palestine. I try to avoid words like Nazionism because the game of comparison with Nazism is an unequal game forged by Zionism as a project that failed in its challenge. But the gesture - and only the gesture - of those who resist Israeli occupation with screams, stones or missiles is the same one as that of those who destroyed a crematorium in Birkenau.


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